MotSaG Roundtable: Prediction for the 2013 Buckeyes (with poll)

I asked the writers to put on their wizard hats and look into their crystal balls and predict how many wins the Buckeye Football Team would win this season. I also asked them to explain their reasoning. Here are some of the responses:

Jason: 14.

It’s not that I think our schedule a cakewalk; it’s just that I can’t look at it and convince myself that there’s a loss in there. Sure, road games against Northwestern and Michigan (and a potential B1G championship vs. Nebraska) are concerning, but I’m not going to *worry* about them until I actually see those teams play some games.

Last year’s team went undefeated and was almost certainly the *least* talented team Urban Meyer will ever coach at OSU. At times, they dominated opponents, both good and bad. They found themselves in close games against teams that had no business there and teams that should have won. They had some luck and they made some luck. And until another team finds a way to beat them, I’m not going to assume it’s going to happen.

Josh: 14
I’m pretty confident in the Buckeyes to pull of an undefeated season. In fact I’m almost expecting it. And I only need two words to tell you why I’m so confident: Urban Meyer. Look at his track record in his second seasons at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. The records speak for themselves. Add in the fact that Braxton Miller has a year under his belt in the Meyer system, surrounded by a lot of potentially dangerous weapons and you should be brimming with confidence.

However, college football is arguable the most unpredictable sport out there and the Buckeyes could easily cough up a loss one weekend. The games to watch out for are Cal, Northwestern and of course that pesky team up north. It will all come down to how fast the younger Buckeyes can grow up and contribute to this team, namely Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington. I expect (and hope) the Buckeyes will be playing in Pasadena for all of the marbles against the SEC champion, where they finally get an opportunity to end the SEC’s reign of terror upon college football.

Chris: 13

I’m not a fan of preseason predictions because they’re not based on what we’re seeing on the field. We can certainly use what happened on the field last year combined with roster losses and additions and make a somewhat educated guess, but it’s just not the same to me as getting a good sampling and using the ever popular “eye test”. That being said, I’m going to take a stab at it anyway and I have Meyer’s squad winning eleven games in the regular season. I know Buckeye Nation won’t like that ugly “1” on the right side of the dash, but I just don’t see an undefeated season for the Buckeyes this season. Who will ruin the perfection? Well that’s tough to say exactly but there are four games that give me pause and I’m thinking one of them is likely to trip the scarlet and gray up.

The first one may surprise you because it’s against a team that won merely three games last season. On September 14th the California Golden Bears host the Buckeyes at California Memorial Stadium and hope to get revenge for a game I’m sure they feel like they gave away last season. The Buckeyes defense gave up 512 yards last season and Meyer’s squad needed a long bomb to Devin Smith with three minutes left and a game-clinching interception by Christian Bryant to win last season. Now offensive guru Sonny Dykes has taken the reigns and I’m sure he’s aiming to put up more than 512 yards against a defense that replaces most of its front seven. He also has to be thrilled that Carlos Hyde will be serving (what we hope is) the last game of his suspension. I certainly don’t expect a loss here, but I am not marking it as a win until the clock hits triple zero on the 14th.

In Week 6, the Buckeyes travel to Evanston, IL to Ryan Field to face the Northwestern Wildcats. Much is made about playing a team after a bye week because of the extra time to prepare, and there may be something to that, but I’m never a fan of playing a team before the bye week either. This game is a combination of both as the Wildcats will be coming off a bye week and the Buckeyes have a bye week following this game. The reason I don’t like playing a good team before a bye week is the same reason why it’s dangerous to play a team that should be an easy win the week prior to playing a good team: it’s too easy to look ahead instead of playing in the moment. Northwestern didn’t win ten games last season by accident. They were 19th in the nation in rushing, were in the top thirty in scoring defense (allowed 22.5 points per game) and their three losses were by a combined 17 points (one of which was an overtime loss to Michigan). The combination of quarterback Trevor Siemian and do-it-all player Kain Colter will be difficult to defend for anyone so I’m hoping Meyer can keep everyone focused on the task at hand instead of the bye week ahead.

Yet another road game before a bye week that gives me pause is the Week 10 matchup with the Boilermakers of Purdue. We all remember the game last year when Buckeye Nation’s heart stopped as Braxton Miller was hauled to the hospital and then raced as Kenny Guiton played out of his mind to tie the game in regulation (including a two-point conversion) and win it in overtime. This year is Purdue’s first season under long-time Jim Tressel assistant Darrell Hazell and I know he’d love to start his career as a Big Ten head coach with a win against the Buckeyes. Like Northwestern, the Boilermakers will also be coming off their bye week. In addition, Hazell is no stranger to the up-tempo offensive style for which Urban Meyer is known. He coached the Kent State Golden Flashes to an 11-win season last year with an up-tempo offense as well, so preparation won’t be as difficult for him as it might be for many. I wish coach Hazell well, except against the Buckeyes. TOSU hasn’t beaten Purdue in consecutive years since ’07 and ’08, which is a trend I hope will end this season.

Finally, the regular season finale against The Team Up North won’t be an easy win either. The Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor and will likely have their spot in the Big Ten Championship reserved so it’s possible that they come into the game flat knowing they’ll play for the conference title the following week regardless. It’s possible that a scenario very similar to the one that played out in the Pac-12 last season in which UCLA and Stanford played one another to finish the regular season and then played again the following week for the conference championship. Jim Mora and the Bruins seemed more concerned with not showing their hand in the first game and lost 35-17. The next week, the Bruins led by a touchdown going into the fourth quarter and ended up losing by three when Fairburn missed a game-tying field goal with less than a minute to go. The Buckeyes and the Wolverines could very well play each other again the week after the regular season finale in the conference championship game. While I don’t think Urban Meyer will worry about showing his proverbial hand, I hope he makes a conscious effort that week to gather the troops and make sure they don’t mail it in just because they know they’ll play the same team for a title the next week. The Wolverines are talented this year too. Devin Gardner is a threat and if Fitz Toussaint can stay healthy, that offense could be trouble.

All that being said, I sincerely hope I’m wrong and another undefeated season is upon us. Go Buckeyes!

Jeremiah: 14

So last year I predicted the team would go 11-1 because I didn’t want to be a complete homer. This year I am not going to do the same thing. I think OSU will go 12-0 in the regular season and will beat Nebraska in the B1G CCG and go to the BCS NCG and face Louisville for the Crystal Ball. In the end I believe Ohio State will out duel the Cardinals and win the title by a score of 45-21.

SEC fans everywhere will demand an asterisk claiming the title is tainted because the Buckeyes didn’t face a team from the SEC. National media members will thrive off the SEC fans anger and write horrific things about how Urban Meyer is a big poopy head and that OSU fans just don’t know the real Urban. Ohio State fans will point at the trophy and say SUCK IT.

Kade: 12 (or maybe 13)

I see this team going 12-2 at worst and 13-1 at best. OSU will be favored in everyone of its games, and rightfully so. They are loaded with talent, both proven and unproven. It’s the unproven talent that concerns me. Especially on the road at Northwestern come October 5th at 8pm. Northwestern runs an offense that has given OSU fits in the past and the Northwestern defense is stout against the run and highly ranked overall. They are however terrible against the pass. This one could be a shootout and OSU could be in for a game. The other game OSU COULD be in some trouble with is the Michigan game. TSUN lead by the enormous, hot pocket consuming Brady Hoke will be ready for Ohio State at home. Hoke is undefeated at home and this game sans the Rich Rod era is always a test. Another possible loss will come in a national title game situation. This schedule reminds me a lot of the 2007 OSU schedule. OSU played a weak schedule and snuck into the title game vs. a battle tested LSU team. It was another blowout. I could see OSU running the table against inferior competition and simply not being prepared to play a truly elite team…something I don’t believe they have done in years.

Ronnie: 14

I was really tempted to put down 13-1 with a loss to Northwestern and Rose Bowl win, but I’m going with 14-0 and a national title. I thought the night game against Wisconsin at home, followed by a night game on the road at Northwestern, would be too much for the Buckeyes. That would be five games in a row, and ending that series against a dual threat quarterback, accompanied with one of the best running backs in the country. However, Wisconsin will be in a transition year and I don’t think they will be much of a threat. I expect good things from Gary Andersen at Wisconsin, but not right away. Northwestern will be a hard and close game, but I see us getting through that two week stretch. After that I don’t see a real threat due to the two bye weeks we will get, our season will become two three game stretches that are pretty manageable.

As for the National Title game, its so boring to predict Ohio State vs. Alabama, but I don’t see anyway around it. Bama will dismantle A&M with or without Manziel and I’m not sure who they will meet in the SEC title game but go look at USC’s, Georgia’s, and Florida’s schedules, yikes. Whoever they meet will be beat and battered. OSU has a four game schedule and Bama has a three game schedule so I expect these two to collide in Pasadena. OSU will win 23-21 thus ending the SEC’s reign, as well as re-affirming Urban Meyer is a better coach than Nick Saban.

Chris K: 13

The 2013 version of the Ohio State Buckeyes will be a more complete team than the 2012 version. The offense will be more explosive and the defense will be more consistent. With that being said, I think the Buckeyes will go 11-1. This team is more talented than anyone in the Big Ten. However, getting a team to play their best week in and week out is nearly impossible in college football.

I see the Buckeyes stumbling on November 23rd against the Indiana Hoosiers (yes, this is a home game and yes, I said the Indiana Hoosiers). Ohio State will carry a 22 game win streak into this game. With an easy victory the week before against Illinois, the Buckeyes will undoubtedly have one eye looking forward to their regular season finale against their hated rivals to the north, the Michigan Wolverines. The game against Indiana will be a shoot out just like it was last season. However, a late interception off the hands of Evan Spencer will prove to be costly for the Buckeyes. Final score, Indiana 34-31.

The Buckeyes will go on to defeat the Wolverines the following week and then move onto the Big Ten Championship. They will roll against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and win by 17 points. They will go on to play in the Rose Bowl and beat the Stanford Cardinal.

Final record: 13-1

Shannon: 14

I am of course going to be a homer and say that Ohio State will be going undefeated and they will be playing in the National Championship game. They will not get through the season without any drama and close nail biting games. No matter what anyone says each and every team can give the Buckeyes a loss if the Scarlet and Gray don’t show up. I truly feel the only team that can beat tOSU is tOSU. I predict they will, you heard it first America, play Florida in the Championship game. That’s right Florida because sports as much as we love them they write some crazy stories themselves and how fitting will it be Urban beating his former team to end the streak he started.

So what do you say, Buckeye Fans? How many wins do you think the Buckeyes will pile up this season?

[poll id=”64″]

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